The weekend of October 3rd, hurricane Joaquin hit the Washington D.C. area. On October 9th D.C. found itself in back to back weekends of torrential downpour as the sky opened up on Georgetown University. It was also on October 9th that one could find me running through this mini-hurricane, severely under-prepared in a tank top and flip flops, on my way to the Mr. Georgetown Pageant.
As soon as I entered Healey Hall, I felt a shift in atmosphere from the general unenthusiastic, glumness that accompanied the weather to a contagious buzz— complete with chatter and the latest pop hits emanating from Gaston Hall. The pageant host, Julian De La Paz, took the stage. “I am looking for a strong Cinderfella” he said, his voice resonating around the hall. This night was the night that Mr. Georgetown was to be crowned.
The princes, 19 in all, entered from the back of Gaston Hall’s stage. These selected seniors, chosen from some of Georgetown’s most prominent clubs and organizations, raced down the aisle to center stage. The potential kings then proceeded to—how can I put this?—“shake the crown jewels,” in their group dance. At the end of the dance, the hall erupted and the crowd jumped to it’s feet. It was the first of many standing ovations earned by these princes of Georgetown.
The night began with the swimwear competition. Highlights included Mr. BSA, who did an unexpected backflip, and Mr. Improv, who had an unidentified male come out in his place. Mr. Improv then followed a few seconds later tied up in tape, a clever moment of improvisational irony. In between the swimsuit and talent competitions, there was an incredible juggling performance from Mr. Georgetown 2013, an elimination round (glass slippers were received by those moving forward) and a performance by Mr. Georgetown 2014. The latter performance caused a lot of jaws to drop, as his content was unbelievably offensive; a selected quote from Thomas Lloyd (Mr. G. 2014) was “Sorry about the leg…you’re not the first man that will have trouble walking after spending a night with me,” addressed to the Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean of Students, and pageant judge Dr. Todd Olson. Mr. Lloyd also stripped from his drag outfit of Sleeping Beauty and began to dance sexually. (Although I am a writer, I am unable to adequately put into words how uncomfortable this made me.) After this bump in the program, the lively atmosphere returned as the night progressed to the talent portion of the event.
Without a doubt, Georgetown has some incredible on-campus talent; I began to tear up when Mr. BSA began his “Ode to Georgetown.” As Mr. Kelly explained “I had a poem in my heart and I wanted to share those words with others.” Intermixed with humorous lines such as “Georgetown, you are the Netflix to my chill” and “I want to give John Carroll the best lap dance” were more serious notes of how much this school has meant to Mr. Walter Kelly. Phrases such as “I’ll be leaving soon…don’t leave the light on…keep your front gate open” united the crowd in our love for this school.
Other impressive talents included Mr. Escape’s “the shampoo” dance, Mr. Relay for Life’s rendition of “Love the Way You Lie”, Mr. Phantom’s impressive singing (shocker) and dance routine, Mr. Triathlon’s Jawani routine, and Mr. Improv’s humorous guitar and singing.
The boys returned in suits after the talent competition, and five were given crowns. Not surprisingly, Mr. BSA had another strong performance in the event’s final portion, the interview. His answer to the question of favorite Georgetown memory—when he performed a spoken word poem in response to Ferguson and was supported by the Georgetown community “to be a part of something greater than myself”—was very powerful. He also addressed an incredibly serious issue in his response to what Disney prince he would be: he responded that he would not be “Prince Charming, he was kissing up on Snow White when she was unconscious… Consent is key, ladies and gentlemen.”
Another strong showing in the interview portion came from Mr. Relay for Life. In response to why he relays and how cancer has affected him he said, “I couldn’t control something I loved…every day I’m fighting, every day I’m committed to fighting.” This statement resonated with me and, I would guess, many others in the crowd.
The night ended with the crowning of our Cinderfella. Drum roll please! Your Mr. Georgetown 2015 is Mr. BSA, Walter Kelly, a title that was well deserved. As Mr. Walter Kelly states, he won in multiple regards; “I already felt like a winner, before the night even began, because I was representing an organization that has played an important role in my georgetown career, and on top of that I made 18 new pals, my fellow Misters of Georgetown.” Additionally, he was able to move the crowd through his spoken word as he later stated, “the response reminded me of the power that words have: to move, to inspire, to make people laugh, to make them feel, to ignite discourse”. In my mind, honorable mention goes to Mr. Relay for Life, Samuel Wilkins, who likewise was a strong competitor throughout the night.
Overall, the event was full of magic .I would highly suggest going to next year’s pageant. Who knows, maybe you’ll even meet a prince.